What a beautiful way to celebrate the month of love – by giving ourselves the permission to have self-love, self-respect and self-acceptance! Yes!
When I was asked to do the set design for this month’s “I Love the Skin I’m in” campaign, I was too excited! Not only because there’s such an important message behind it, but also because it was my first time designing a set for a photo shoot. My experience in design, thus far, is for fully functional, lived-in spaces, not necessarily staged ones where throw pillows take priority over people.
But I’m not one to back down from a challenge. No ma’am…let’s go!
The design direction called for a cozy space for relaxing on a snowy winter day. The color scheme was white, grey, and pink. A very light and feminine scene. This was quite a different picture from the existing décor of our secret shoot location.
Enter Vital Dining in Montclair, NJ. A restaurant that serves D E L I C I O U S and satisfyingly health-conscious Jamaican cuisine.
We were given access to one of their prime seating areas, a nook right by the window.
My first goal in developing this space was to establish that foundational place of max-relaxation for our “Girls’ day in”. And that had to be the sofa. The sofa here was actually made up of two bookshelves that I borrowed.
I turned them on their side lengthwise and added some cushion to eliminate any harsh edges. Then, I covered the whole thing with a beautiful knitted white blanket that I found at Ikea. I pinned and fastened the blanket behind the unit to help form the appearance of a nice cushiony – slip covered sofa.
Next, I needed to address the sofa back – or the lack thereof. The ladies needed a little som’ to lean on while they were getting their chill on (smirk). To do this, I piled on the pillows – A LOT of them. I got a kick out of seeing them laid out all over my dining room table after my Target and Ikea haul. Can you guess how many pillows I used on this set in total? If so, leave a comment below!
Let’s just say I was not shy. Layering a healthy amount pillows to rest up against the pre-draped window fixed the issue of our backless sofa. And the wide variety of textures and patterns gave the look of this sitting area depth, warmth and a touch of whimsy. However, keeping within the color scheme kept the space looking cohesive and pulled together.
The other major layer that I needed to address in transforming this warm island eatery into a pretty wintertime lounge for our photo shoot was the flooring. The pre-existing floor is a natural wood which is beautiful, but would’ve made the space feel colder than what we were looking for.
I found the perfect solution with this white rug from Marshall’s. It featured blue-grey, and greige colored floral patterns throughout and white fur rugs layered on top had the space oozing with coziness!
Next, baskets! There might have been visually just as many baskets as there were pillows. This helped me fill in spaces where furniture would typically sit in a functional room, but more cost effective and less serious than furniture for this make believe scene. The baskets accepted the challenge of whimsy that this set allowed, and because of their rigid nature, they lend just some of structure typically found in furniture. I used Woven hyacinth baskets, white and natural banana leaf baskets, and two GORGEOUS large grey baskets -which were my absolute favorites!
I also used a rattan trunk from Ikea that took on the role as a side/coffee table. Additional storage would be the bonus if this were an actual living space.
To complete the look of this pretty wintertime lounge area, I rolled, stacked, and tucked a variety of blankets into the nooks and crannies, added some touches of dark accessories and PLANTS. To me, no room should go without greenery. It just helps bring life to any space.
I’d love to hear what you think of our “I Love The Skin I’m In” photo shoot set. If you have any comments or questions of where to find some of the items featured here, please feel free to leave a comment below.